On 16th June 2021, KEPSA CEO Ms. Carole Kariuki Karuga paid a courtesy call to the Chief Justice and President of the Supreme Court of Kenya, Hon. Justice Martha Karambu Koome. The KEPSA CEO was accompanied by Ms. Catherine Musakali – KEPSA Director in charge of Governance and Leadership, Mr. Allen Gichuhi – KEPSA Director in charge of Legal and Professionals and KEPSA Legal Advisor Ms. Joyner Okonjo.
KEPSA’s partnership with the office of the Chief Justice started in 2013, and KEPSA has convened several Roundtable meetings with the former Chief Justice Hon. Willy Mutunga and former Chief Justice Hon. David Maraga to present the private sector issues of concern to be addressed by the Judiciary.
Ms. Kariuki congratulated the Chief Justice on her appointment as the 15th Chief Justice and the first female to ascend to the highest judicial office in Kenya’s history, and apprised the Chief Justice on KEPSA’s strategic engagement with the Judiciary from 2013 during Chief Justice Mutunga’s tenure, which tenure gave birth to the National Council on Administrative Justice (NCAJ) where KEPSA is represented and Ms. Kariuki had the pleasure of working on judiciary transformation alongside Chief Justice Martha Koome.
“Judicial processes play an important role to private sector, especially in resolving commercial disputes as the time, cost and quality of judicial processes is important to any investor. These equally affect the country’s ranking in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index (DBI) and affect the overall competitiveness of a country,” Said Ms. Kariuki.
Ms. Kariuki was happy to report that through business reforms brought about by collaboration between government and key stakeholders such as KEPSA, Kenya has improved in the DBI ranking and is currently at position 56 compared to position 129 in 2014. Under the performance on enforcing contracts, Kenya has equally improved from position 151 in 2014 to the current position 89.
The KEPSA CEO also mentioned that KEPSA was working with the Ministry of East African Community and Regional Development to support the operationalization of the Small Claims Court-Milimani, as part of the Ease of Doing Business Agenda.
KEPSA with support from Mastercard Foundation has also partnered with the Judiciary through the Ajira Programme, a pilot project on digitization of court proceedings in 6 counties – Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Homabay, Embu and Kirinyaga, employing over 850 youth. This is part of the transformation work started by the National Council on Administration of Justice. KEPSA will work on expanding this project as it has had a great impact on ease of doing business through job creation and supporting efficiency in judicial services.
Ms. Musakali stated that the Roundtable meetings with the Judiciary have been very useful. She affirmed KEPSA’s commitment that the partnership will continue so that issues faced by private sector are tabled and addressed, and equally the Judiciary has an opportunity to point out areas where the Judiciary needs support from private sector.
“KEPSA has also been at the forefront in fighting corruption and institutionalizing ethics in society through partnerships with the Global Compact and the Blue Company,” Remarked Ms. Musakali.
Ms. Musakali challenged the Judiciary to come up with institutional reforms that will ensure corruption cases are not dropped along the way and are resolved in a shorter time frame.
Mr. Gichuhi pointed out that one of the most critical areas where private sector is faced with challenges is the Commercial and Tax Division. He affirmed KEPSA’s commitment to increase the capacity of Judges and Magistrates through training of those sitting in specialized courts handling tax, land and employment matters.
Chief Justice Koome appreciated the support that KEPSA has given the Judiciary through various engagements in the past and asked for more support especially on matters technology and digitization through the Ajira Digital project.
She welcomed the idea of capacity building of Judges and Judicial officers, and affirmed the Judiciary’s support in working together with KEPSA and other stakeholders on matters Ethics and Anti-corruption. “Justice is a shared responsibility that cuts across all members of the public and other institutions,” She remarked.
It was agreed that the first KEPSA Roundtable with the Judiciary under the tenure of Chief Justice Koome to be held in the third week of August 2021 during the Judiciary leadership retreat.
On 18th June 2021, KEPSA, led by the Chair Ms. Flora Mutahi participated in a luncheon in honour of the Chief Justice and President of the Supreme Court of Kenya, Hon. Justice Martha Koome at Safari Park Hotel in Nairobi. The event was organised by the Ministry of Public Service and Gender.
Chief Justice Koome expressed her gratitude for the immense support she had received and messages of goodwill from all over the country and around the globe while adding that justice is a collective responsibility that cuts across all sections. “The constitution tells us that we should never decide a case on the direction of any party or authority. All of us are bound by the Constitution and nobody should tell a judge how to decide a case,” She remarked.
While presenting a gift to the Chief Justice, the KEPSA Chair noted that judicial processes are important to private sector because businesses rely on courts to enforce their contracts and to resolve their commercial disputes. Ms. Mutahi went on to say that KEPSA, through the Ajira Digital Programme, has taken the mantle to support digitization of the courts through transcription of proceedings. She also assured Chief Justice Koome of KEPSA’s support and more engagements going forward.
On 14th June 2021, KEPSA Chair Ms. Flora Mutahi paid a courtesy call to the British High Commissioner to Kenya H.E Jane Marriott OBE at her official residence in Nairobi. Present at the meeting was KEPSA Director Mr. Graham Shaw who also represents the British Chamber of Commerce of Kenya, and KEPSA Deputy CEO Ms. Martha Cheruto.
The meeting focused on forging stronger relationships between the UK and the Kenyan private sector. The meeting also discussed how the private sector can benefit from the existing bilateral agreements between Kenya and the UK, thereby increasing trade and investments between the two countries.
Ms. Mutahi shared KEPSA’s vision of collaborating with partners to create a better business environment in the country while highlighting KEPSA’s focus on equipping Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) with the capacity to recover from the effects of Covid-19 pandemic. Some of the opportunities discussed in the meeting touched on collaboration for mentorship and to enhance capacity building for MSMEs.
On 16th June 2021, the KEPSA Chair, Ms. Flora Mutahi paid a courtesy visit to the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) Director-General Maj Gen. Mohammed Badi in his Nairobi office. The visit aimed to enhance the collaboration between the private sector and the office of the NMS Director-General. The KEPSA Chair was accompanied by KEPSA Deputy CEO Ms. Martha Cheruto.
Their engagement is part of the ongoing collaboration between KEPSA and NMS on improving the ease of doing business in the city. The engagements happen at the sector board level with NMS Directorates culminating into roundtable meetings chaired by the NMS Director-General.
The KEPSA Governing Council Induction session took place on 17th June 2021 at the Nairobi Serena Hotel. The session provided an opportunity for the Governing Council leaders to gain a greater understanding of their roles within the organization and effectively perform their sector duties.
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